Wild East shootout in Toronto as Argos top Alouettes

Boatmen keep pace with the Tiger-Cats as Als fall in the standings

Argos receiver Chandler Worthy was released by the team in August.  Peter Power/CFL.ca

Toronto Argonauts finally have a winning streak, as their defence held off the potent Montreal Alouettes offence on Friday night, propelling them to a 30-27 win in Canadian Football League action. 

Toronto (4-3) move into a first-place tie with Hamilton, having won five straight home games dating back to 2019, and are now a perfect 3-0 at BMO Field in 2021.

Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson got the start at pivot while Nick Arbuckle deals with a hamstring injury, completing 68 per cent of his passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. 

This was Argonauts’ coach Chris Jones’ first game back in the CFL since 2019, when he left the Riders to coach with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie brought Jones on as a defensive consultant, and credits his return as a difference-maker, even though the Als scored 27 points, the defense still recorded two sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Former Argos defensive coordinator has been brought back as a defensive consultant.

“Just his presence and how he controls the room and his leadership, I thought he’s kind of got that going this week,” said Dinwiddie, post-game. 

Some Argos players were a bit apprehensive about Jones coming in after the departure of defensive coordinator Glen Young, but Dinwiddie says his players have adjusted quickly, with improvements still needed to be made.

“I think those guys are buying into it,” he said. “We gotta get better there, we gotta tackle better.”

Heading into the game the Als (2-4) boasted the league’s leading touchdown passer in Vernon Adams Jr. and leading rusher in William Stanback.

Toronto defensive back Shaquille Richardson, who had a big game with four tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble, recounted his first week working with Jones. 

“We had more focus on details, game plan was a little bit more simple but the details and the intent behind the coverages and how we play, I guess the standard of play, was set a little stronger,” he said. “So that helped our defense focus in and know what we have to do as a team.”

With Henoc Muamba and Cameron Judge out this week to injury, Dexter McCoil and Charleston Hughes stepped up with six and five tackles respectively, while Hughes recorded his second sack of the season.

Argos rookie receiver Damion Jeanpiere got the start in place of the injured Eric Rogers, who is nursing a hamstring injury, and proceeded to lead the team with 91 receiving yards on only four catches. 

Chandler Worthy also contributed 85 yards of his own, including a 45-yard-deep bomb with just 16 seconds left in the first half.

“My opportunity came, I was able to take advantage of it and the best part was just seeing how happy my teammates were for me that I made it worth it,” he said after the game. 

Als dominated in almost every offensive category on Friday, including time of possession, as they had the ball for 36 minutes to the Argos’ 23. However, the Argos were efficient, scoring their 21 first half points in a total of three minutes of possession time.

Montreal made a late push for the victory when Jake Wieneke scored with a minute to go in the game to put the Als within three, but they did not have enough time to march down the field again once they got the ball back. 

Stanback once again dominated the rushing game with 133 yards on 19 carries, overtaking James Wilder, Jr. for the league rushing lead. This was Stanback’s fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season.

Adams, Jr. had his best game of the season statistically, throwing for 382 yards and adding two more touchdowns to his league-leading total, all while playing through an apparent rib injury. 

Argos head into the bye week before welcoming last-place Ottawa to town on October 6.

Meanwhile, the schedule does not get easier for the Alouettes, who travel up the road to Hamilton to tangle with the first place Tabbies.

About this article

Posted: Sep 25 2021 10:17 pm
Filed under: CFL Football Sports